It may be the unofficial start of fall, but in Ft. Myers, Florida, we kept it hot at this year’s Southeast Regional Relocation Council’s (SRRC) fall conference! It was a fantastic opportunity for mobility professionals to network, learn, and look forward to the future while basking along the banks of the Caloosahatchee River.
Regional conferences and events like these are incredibly valuable learning, development, and networking tools for our mobility leaders. The needs and nuances of regional markets can differ substantially, and these events help to generate dialogue on the unique trends driving recruitment, retention, and mobility specific to each area. They also serve as a stage for key players from the corporate and provider sides to come together and share what’s working, what’s not, and how to prepare for future challenges in the world of work. Our teams often come away from these events inspired, with their finger on the pulse of what’s happening in their local market and an understanding of how that plays into their clients’ programs and policies.
The Southeast United States is an area that is seeing more and more relocations, both of individuals and companies. Tax incentives, pro-business policies, and a lower cost of living than typical business hubs in the Northeast or West Coast are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the myriad of factors influencing relocation to the Southeast. The weather is a big factor, too, with a notable rise in the number of remote workers setting up shop in homes near the beach instead of near a hockey rink (ta-ta, frostbite).
This conference served as the perfect platform for local mobility professionals to share their thoughts and experiences working in this thriving region. A series of corporate roundtables and panels highlighted how global mobility programs are being managed to accommodate the ever-changing world of the relocating workforce. Two panels caught my eyes and ears as they featured deep insight into the hot and trending topics of flexible policies and lump sum programs.
Flexible policies are being widely used in both US domestic and cross-border moves. Companies have invested a great deal of time listening to the voice of the customer when developing these policies, whether conducting surveys of employees who’ve relocated or assessing the needs of the talent acquisition team to ensure the policies that they develop are meeting everyone’s needs. Flexibility has allowed companies to zero in on the employee experience while giving the business greater visibility into costs; two critical priorities for many of today’s corporate mobility programs.
Not only do these policies empower the mobile employee with the flexibility to curate a best-fit experience, but they also allow companies to be more agile in their offerings by adjusting the number of points an employee gets if the business demands cost-cutting measures.
Despite all the hype around Core/Flex programs, lump sums continue to play a vital role in most relocation programs! These lump sums are typically offered to entry-level or less experienced employees who may be less established than their higher-ranking colleagues. The good news is that more companies recognize the need to level up the humble lump sum by providing employees resources to preferred vendors, new location information, and rental assistance to help smooth the transition to the new location. Internal surveys are helping these companies determine the success rate of providing employees with a lump sum, suggesting that, while skimpy on the benefits, there are ways to structure these programs to provide adequate support for mobile talent.
Roundtable discussions rounded out the SRRC Fall Conference with topics focusing on:
The discussions at these roundtables ranged from the role AI will have in our day-to-day work life, the need to create a company-wide remote work policy, and how global mobility can help a company meet its diversity and inclusion goals. Judging by the enthusiastic conversation, it is clear that everyone took away some new ideas and perspectives they can bring back to their role. Anchors away, mobility pros!